29/01/2016 - 14:52

Work starts on core library extension

29/01/2016 - 14:52

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A $7.3 million extension of the Perth Core Library is under way to boost exploration programs, with Firm Construction beginning work today.

Work starts on core library extension
Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion.

A $7.3 million extension of the Perth Core Library is under way to boost exploration programs, with FIRM Construction beginning work today.

Launching the construction stage today, Department of Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the historic library would be extended and modernised, increasing capacity by 3,500 square metres to allow storage of 14,300 pallets, or 1,000 kilometres, of core.

“With challenges facing the industry, it is crucial we do everything possible to promote new mining and petroleum developments and the jobs and innovations they will deliver,” he said.

The library contains core samples dating back to the 1890s and now stores over 500km of drill core.

It is used by mining and petroleum companies, prospectors and researches to help guide exploration programs.

“By helping focus exploration, the information available at the core library can potentially save the industry millions of dollars,” Mr Marmion said.

The expansion, expected to be completed in November, will also grow the viewing space for geologists and extend facilities to house the high-speed spectroscopic HyLogger imaging system, which is used to create a virtual, online core library.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Commonwealth recognised the importance of maintaining world-class management of petroleum and data samples.

“We are pleased to support the redevelopment project by making a direct contribution,” Senator Cormann said.

The federal government contributed $1.2 million to the extension.

The Perth Core Library is also the western hub of the National Offshore Petroleum Data and Core Repository and stores two-thirds of all Commonwealth-managed petroleum core derived from offshore drilling around the nation.

Association of Mining & Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison said greenfields mineral exploration was at historic lows and accounted for just 22 per cent of total mineral exploration metres drilled in the September 2015 quarter.

“The state government continues to demonstrate its commitment to encouraging investment in the minerals sector through the exploration incentive scheme, which includes the core library, competitive geoscience data, and co-funded drilling programs,” he said.

“The state government’s commitment to ... streamline the approvals process has been welcomed and should be expedited in order to realise the benefits.

“Much more needs to be done to reduce costs and delays across government agencies and industry.”

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